Landlords routinely use consumer reports to evaluate potential tenants for residential property. These reports typically fall under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, meaning the tenant screening report companies must comply with the law when running a report.
Tenant screening reports can include eviction histories, credit information, criminal history information, and other personal data. Sometimes the information in the reports is wrong. Sometimes the tenant screening report company will report that you have an eviction, when you do not have one. Sometimes it will mix someone else's eviction (perhaps someone with the same name as you) with your file and report the eviction as yours. These are all issues that the Fair Credit Reporting Act covers. In particular, Section 1681e(b) of the Fair Credit Reporting Act requires tenant screening companies to "follow reasonable procedures to assure maximum possible accuracy" with respect to the information they report. Oftentimes, tenant screening companies that report inaccurate information violate this section of the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
When applying as a tenant for an apartment or other residential property, you should ask the landlord if it will be pulling your consumer report(s). If the answer is yes, you should ask the landlord for the name of the consumer reporting agency and obtain a copy of your consumer report to ensure that all information is accurate. Negative information in a consumer report could cause you to lose an opportunity.
If you've been denied housing because of a tenant screening report and think it may have violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act, please reach out to a Fair Credit Reporting Act attorney at Weiner & Sand LLC. You can also reach out to the tenant screening company, but you should make sure you address the issues in the proper way.
Some of the most common tenant screening companies are listed below.
Contemporary Information Corp. (CIC)
Phone: 800-288-4757 (option 5)
Address: 42913 Capital Drive, Unit 101, Lancaster, CA 93535
Address: P.O. Box 509124, San Diego, CA 92150
Address: P.O. Box 26, Allen, TX 75013
First Advantage Corporation Resident History Report
Address: P.O. Box 105292, Atlanta, GA 30348
Address: 4000 International Parkway, Carrollton, TX 75007
Screening Reports, Inc.
Address: 220 Gerry Drive, Wood Dale, IL 60191
Tenant Data Services
Address: P.O. Box 5404, Lincoln, NE 68505
TransUnion Rental Screening Solutions
Address: 6430 South Fiddlers Green Circle, Suite 500, Greenwood Village, CO 80111